New Book on Rio+20 and Post-2015 development agenda

Author and former Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum, Felix Dodds has released his much anticipated book “From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: Building a Bridge to a Sustainable Future”. A press release is provided below:

Review copies can be requested through [email protected]

About the Authors

Felix Dodds is a Fellow at the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute. He was the former Executive Director of the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, (1992-2012) one of the leading sustainable development organizations working around the United Nations. He is on the board of Advisors for the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security, Asia European Foundation ENVforum Steering Committee and the Great Transition.

Jorge Laguna-Celis is the Senior Advisor on sustainable development to the President of the UN General Assembly; prior to that he was a negotiator and expert on international environmental governance and sustainable development. Since 2006 he has been a member of the Mexican Foreign Service and is based in New York, USA.

Liz Thompson is a former Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados. She was honoured by UNEP in 2008 with the prestigious “Champion of the Earth” award for her work in climate change and environment. She was one of two executive coordinators appointed by the UN at the level of Assistant Secretary General to support the Rio+20 process and negotiations. As a Minister she led the development of national policies on the green economy, energy, environment and sustainable development. She now works in these areas on which she has been an advisor to the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General, UNDP and the 68th President of the UN General Assembly.


from rio20 to the new development agendaTwenty years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, “The Earth Summit”, the Rio+20 conference in 2012 brought life back to sustainable development. It did that by putting it at the centre of a new global development partnership, one in which sustainable development is the basis for eradicating poverty, upholding human development and transforming economies.

This book is written by participants involved in the Rio+20 negotiations, it presents a unique insider analysis of not only what happened and why. It also identifies where the outcomes might impact in the future, particularly in the UN development agenda beyond 2015. The book throws light on the changing nature of multilateralism and questions frequent assumptions on how policy is defined within the UN. It shows that Rio+20 was more than an international meeting; it represented a culminating point of decades of successes and failures and a watershed moment for seminal concepts, ideas and partnerships including the Green Economy, zero tolerance on land degradation, the introduction of Sustainable Development Goals, the creation of national measurements of consumption, production and well-being that are intended to go beyond GDP, the introduction of national green accounting and the commitment of billions of dollars for sustainable development partnerships, including Sustainable Energy for All.

Notable quotes on the book:

“There are many who are only too happy to dismiss multilateral negotiations because of their painfully slow progress and bizarre esoteric practices. Sections of the media feel cliché bound to portray them as a junket circuit for politicians and officials, and delight in calling them a waste of time and money. And it is undoubtedly the case that drive, passion, ideas and excitement is much more obvious in the myriad of grassroots peoples’ movements around the world campaigning for change; in the dynamic partnerships between forward thinking cities and regions; and in the innovative approaches that thousands of communities and some leading companies are taking to address the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. But if these thousands of actions aiming to create a better world are to come together in a way that enables humanity to prosper fairly within environmental limits, we need to keep our faith in a vision of multilateralism where the world’s countries, slowly but surely, build the common frameworks that are needed to deliver genuine sustainable development. This book does an excellent job of documenting the journey to the Rio+20, the details and outcomes of the summit negotiations, and critically what needs to happen in the years ahead. It makes sense of where we have got to on this long journey, and where we need to go next. Nothing could be more important.”– Craig Bennett, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Chair of Stakeholder Forum’s Board of Directors

“This is the ultimate ‘insider’s guide’ to the Rio+20 process, taking the reader from the preliminary discussions back in 2007 all the way through the conference itself and into the future. In tabloid terminology, Felix Dodds, Jorge Laguna Celis and Liz Thompson give us ‘the thrills, the spills, the personalities and power-plays’ that shaped the summit and its diverse outcome. Whether you regard the outcome as primarily a missed opportunity due to its fundamental incompatibility with respect for planetary boundaries and its failure to match President Lula’s pre-conference vision of an event that would lead to ‘a new and more balanced distribution of wealth’ in the world, as I continue to do, or whether you share the authors’ optimism regarding the re-moulding of international institutions and the voluntary commitments secured in Rio, this book will give you a deeper and broader understanding of why Rio reached the outcomes it did. And as it makes clear, there is still much to play for, particularly in regard of the sustainable development goals, which could yet provide impetus for a global move towards the future we both want and need.” – Richard Black, former BBC Environment Correspondent

“Multilateral negotiations are very complex. Issues such as peace and security, sustainable development and climate change have all proven how difficult it is to negotiate to consensus amongst the global family of nations. The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development ushered in new policy and institutional approaches for achieving sustainable development. The three authors of this book represent the various stakeholders in the multilateral negotiation process – countries, civil society and the UN system. The authors are uniquely positioned to offer readers a better insight into how a consensus in multilateral negotiations emerge, the result of Rio+20 and the evolving global development agenda.” – H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe, Co-Chairman, Rio+20 Preparatory Committee, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations.

Supplementary Companion Guide

Plain language guide to Rio20To complement the book, the three authors have also produced “The Plain Language Guide to Rio+20: Preparing for the New Development Agenda” which is available in E-book form; thus constituting the definitive and most authoritative appraisal of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as Rio+20. This book is designed to help people from all backgrounds understand what was agreed at Rio+20 and the relevant UN Commissions, Conferences and Summit that laid the foundation for Rio+20 and the new sustainable development goals which are expected to be agreed upon in September 2015.

The book and guide is available on the New World World Publishing website.




Contact details

Felix Dodds: US mobile +13472073919

Email: [email protected]

US address: 1538 Haywards Heath Lane, Apex, NC 27502

Twitter: felixdodds


Previous book was: ONLY ONE EARTH: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development by Felix Dodds, Michael Strauss with Maurice Strong

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